Our technology division offers a range of test work services for effective mineral concentration and separation. Using research and development projects initiated by industrial clients as the basis, test work is used for improvements to production levels or the for the exploration of methods and types of equipment that help ensure increased mineral recovery. Proof of concept and feasibility studies are another two areas where Multotec’s test work shine and the results are used to recommend best practices and equipment for enhanced mineral recovery.
Information on the way different equipment can be optimally used is acquired from multiple test stages, in which operating parameters are manipulated according to the material processed.
Spiral controller and feed box
A recent project included investigating the effects of spiral concentrator performance when the feed box is bypassed. This test was conducted by running the spiral concentrator with and without the feed box, and the performance efficiency change was assessed according to produced product quality. These results were translated into the efficiency of mineral separation when the spiral was operated with and without the feed box. It reiterated the importance of using a feed box on a spiral concentrator as it controls the feed flow into the spiral and minimises spillages from the trough. Additional benefits of using a feed box include:
■ Higher feed rate to the spiral and capacity
■ Higher grades achieved
■ Better recoveries
■ Overall better separation efficiencies.
Hydrocyclones, settling cones and throttling valves
In order to determine the quantity of course or fine materials that short-circuit to the overflow from a main cyclone, the hydrocyclone overflow was fed to a settling cone with a throttling valve fitted to the underflow. Materials that settled to the underflow were determined by adjusting the spigot of the settling cone using the throttling valve.
The test work indicated that, with an installation of a settling cone, the solids that bypass the initial cyclone can be recovered. This has the potential to reduce the solids material to the tailings, which can be further processed as a secondary by-product.
"Research is seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought.”
- Albert Szent-GyÖrgyi